The Pornography of Porrada: Ambush Interviews With Naked Globo Talking Heads and the Imminent Apocalypse on Tupi TV!

You give us three minutes, we’ll give you the world.

Now there’s spiritual warfare
and flesh and blood breaking down
Ya either got faith or ya got unbelief
and there ain’t no neutral ground
The enemy is subtle,
how be it we are so deceived
When the truth’s in our hearts
and we still don’t believe ?
–Bob Dylan, “Precious Angel”

NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS presents:

Ambush interview by TV BAND with the Globo journalist who “revealed all” to the Grupo Abril’s Playboy Brasil recently; on Brasil Urgente, criminal suspects get the living snot beat out of them in scenes reminiscent of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ; a much-maligned faith-based call-in show on love over the Internet; a Brazilian Elmer Gantry speaks in tongues; and more. Part of a continuing survey of armed media monopolies and their noise machines from Oiapoque to Chuí.

Program notes: Not too many, except to say that that Fala Que Eu Te Escuto segment on cyberdating actually seems to make a fairly credible effort at a balanced presentation. The video was posted by the author of the crime novel himself, doing a little DYI publicity for the book. He seems like a pretty nice guy, actually. His son met his future wife on the Internet, even. Nothing said here strikes me as really insane or geared to creating panic. You?

Later I will show you a parody of the show called “Speak, And I Will Insult You” — hosted by the, er, Cloven-Hoofed One. The Lord of Flies. You know who I mean; don’t make me say it. “Put a glass of whiskey on top of the TV,” he urges viewers, mocking some televangelists who have viewers place pieces of cloth on the screen in order to receive a teleblessing.

As I say, a big issue in the looming network wars between Record and Globo is a Globo noise-machine meme of longs tanding according to which “all evangelical religious leaders are sleazy clones of Elmer Gantry!” Wikipedia:

Elmer Gantry is a 1927 novel by Sinclair Lewis. It tells the story of a young, narcisistic, womanizing college athlete who, upon realizing the power, prestige, and easy money that being an evangelical preacher can bring, pursues his “religious” ambitions with relish, contributing to the downfall, even death, of key people around him as the years pass. Although he continues to womanize, is often exposed as a fraud, and frequently faces a complete downfall, Gantry is never fully discredited and always manages to emerge triumphant and to reach ever greater heights of social status. The novel ends as the Rev. Gantry prays for the USA to be a “moral nation” and simultaneously admires the legs of a new choir singer.

Nice summary, reads a bit like a college freshman essay from my days reading hundreds of the things a quarter. I really think they ought to only let college students write Wikipedia. Show student ID, which could be issued in electronic form along with your matriculation.

See also

Evangelicals of various persuasions are very politically influential here, as you may know, and there is quite a lot of spiritual warfare to be observed among the persuasions over the issue of the “theology of prosperity.”

(A Paulo Henrique Amorim interview with Bishop Edir Macedo will air later this week. Veja magazine recently featured an upcoming biography of the Bishop, making much of the fact that he is shown behind bars, in a jail cell, on the cover.)

I do not know that that is true, however. The Gantry Generalization, I mean. I doubt it. I mean, our neighbors are evangelicals, after all. Perfectly nice people. They think Lula is the devil, but even knowing my wife is sort of Green-PTish, they still they love their neighbors.
But it would be interesting to assess systematically. You would need a lot of time and resources to do a proper job of it, though.

The tradition of religious broadcasting in Brazil is quite literally and directly descended from the enormously influential Depression-era church of the airwaves mounted by Aimee Semple MacPherson.

Record has some really, really abysmal programming — and yet some of its programming is extremely interesting. Not least the soap opera Vidas Opostas, whose last episode contained one of the most striking “kill your TV” scenes I have seen in a long time. See

I believe that last televangelism segement is from Renascer em Cristo’s broadcasting operations, but I need to confirm that. The scriptural reference is to David and Goliath (1 Samuel), I believe.

The two leaders of the church were arrested on money-laundering and currency-smuggling charges in Miami, and their assets are being probed by the local tax man. Globo has covered the story closely — it is a perfectly legit story, of course — and breathlessly as the asset valuation bottom line goes up, up, up. Hundreds of millions of Tupibucks!

It sometimes seems like the Thirty Years’ War has never ended here. And indeed, there are people out there in the Tupi blogosphere who still get extremely exercised over the “treasonous” Peace of Westphalia. Seriously. “We should have burned all the heretics when we had a chance!” Creepy stuff.

I have seen quite a bit of Datena’s Brasil Urgente, but can never manage to watch it for more than a minute or two without getting queasy and switching to Castelo Rá-Tim-Bum.

But a recent series that ran in the Observatório da Imprensa, on his “lynch mob” brand of journalism, got me curious, so I started browsing the man’s YouTubery.

The article deals with the case of a prosecutor on trial in the shooting of a young man who allegedly tried to rob him, and calls the tabloid press treatment of the case “a lynching.”

Strong language, but the writer makes a strong case simply by comparing what Datena, for example, reported on the air with what is actually contained in court filings in the case.

Regardless of the outcome in the case of the “killer prosecutor,” as the tabloid press dubbed him — not all victims of lynchings are innocent, of course; that’s totally beside the point — the writer makes a valid point.

Brasil Urgente is simply beyond disgraceful, off into that territory where you start seriously thinking of comparing it with Rwandan talk radio …”brought to you by Acme, the clean-lopping machete that gets the job done faster (100% Hutu-made) …”

You never see Brazilian lawyers using “trial by media” as a defense tactic, it always strikes me. Change of venue, poisoned jury pools, things like that. Very common in gringoland, of course.

Or maybe they do, but the yellow press just does not report on it.

Defense lawyers here are constantly complaining that the lack of resources for public defenders, and programs like Legal Aid, simply make a mockery of justice in criminal cases.

Those poor people tend to get Red-baited a lot by the hard men in their hog heaven.

See also

The more I actually watch Brazilian TV, the more sympathy I have for activists in this area, whether I agree with their politics in other areas of life, the universe and everything or not.

This sort of thing is just … just … just … unspeakable. Check out the “reporter” stick a microphone in the face of that guy in the pickup truck. “How does it feel to be scared witless that this angry mob is about to string you up?”

Your first response is just to laugh uproariously at how mind-blowingly crass it is. Except you suddenly realize that poor bastard is actually bleeding. And then you start realizing that a lot of people actually watch this crap. Because it is pretty much the only crap on.

And insidious crap it is, too.

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